The power of a praying parent

Friday February 07 2020

The debate was heated and it went on and on. At some point, I sat back quietly and let everyone express their feelings and mixed views. “The world we live in today is not safe at all,” one parent asserted. “You cannot let your children move around all by themselves.”
“But how come you took yourself to and from school when you were a child? Are you not here today?” Another parent retorted, visibly irritated. “Because the world was a lot safer then,” the first parent reasoned. “There are many boda bodas, many reckless drivers, thugs and even kidnappers lately. Our children are not guaranteed of safety anymore.” I listened again, very hesitant to add my voice, although I had strong views too. No doubt, the world is different today from what it was in yester years. But hey! Does the world stand still? No. As far as I recall, the world was unsafe even when we were children. I have never forgotten my best friend, Brenda, who died in a road accident in Primary One.
My point, however, is, does it truly help for a parent to assume the role of the sole protector of their child? Are we helping our children if we take them everywhere ourselves and literally do everything for them? When will they grow and learn to spread their wings themselves? When will they learn, practise and navigate the waters of life, if at 15 years, the househelp cleans up after them and a driver chauffeurs them to the cinema?
It seems the breed of many young people today can ably operate a smart phone but they cannot cross a road. We have children who cannot prepare a meal for themselves let alone fry an omelette. Why? Because we are shielding them from the harsh streets and the folly of getting down in the mud to fend for themselves. Someone taught me that the safest place for anyone and not just a child is in learning to truly pray and trust God. Loving parent, let me say this plainly, you are not your child’s maker and neither can you be their ultimate source of protection. You are not. If you think you are, you have not only chosen to carry the most difficult burden but most scary of all, you will fail. Please do not misunderstand me. We must be and yes we are responsible for the care and well-being of our children. We are finite beings with limitations and shortcomings. Every parent should seek protection of the creator. We must empower and not necessarily cripple our children. Enjoy the new term.